Hidden gems of the 2010s


Sailor Moon Crystal S3 as somehow that only has below 50K when it’s far superior to S1 &2 but doesn’t have a UK place hence why the rumored Eternal (Dreams arc) which would be on Netflix would mean we would get it legally
Symphogear XV enough said

Haikara San 1- Thanks to SLA crowd I imported this and never regretted it bar obv the second one being streaming only so I will need to go to America and buy that At some point.
Classmates - is above 50K however lack of UK release is why it’s included as much as I love Given this is still the masterpiece of Boys Love

Professor Irony

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan
More female lead adventures, but this time they can pilot dragons! Although as it's a Mari Okada script the tone is a bit more mature.
I'm not sure why this is so low in numbers! Some will point to the fact that it's on Netflix, but shows such as Dorohedoro, Beastars and BNA are all way ahead in terms of numbers. I guess it just didn't get the hype before and then during and by the time it came on Netflix people had forgotten about it.
On Netflix.

I liked this one as well, but I think it was a relatively early Netflix exclusive and it didn't seem like the audience for it was really there yet when it came out. It felt like people knew Netflix had anime, but their audience at this point was mostly more casual viewers than people who would identify as anime fans, so they weren't getting the same attention as the likes of Crunchyroll or Funimation, and it seemed to go largely unnoticed in anime-centric spaces.

I do remember seeing a few comments from people saying they were put off by the art style though and the show did take a little while to grow on me - I don't think Hisone is the most immediately likeable protagonist. It's a shame really; if you can get onboard with it, it's a just really solid little series.


Nice evidence-based practice. 👍
I'll take a much looser approach here and throw in something based simply on not really seeing it talked about very much but very much enjoying it. That thing is the 2010 OVA Black★Rock Shooter.

Black★Rock Shooter began life as a single image posted on 26 December 2007 on the Japanese art website Pixiv by creator huke. The image inspired a song by supercell, using the Miku Hatsune vocaloid program, accompanied by a music video with visuals by huke. This in turn spawned a range of figures, a PlayStation Portable game, three manga series, a TV anime and the OVA that I'm recommending here.

Of the two animated incarnations, the earlier 50-minute OVA is, in my view, the superior of the two. Both versions draw a link between huke's original characters and their seemingly never-ending battle in an abstract, gothic-inspired fantasy world, and their anime-original alter egos who live a slice-of-life everyday life in the "real" world.

The script was written by The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya author Nagaru Tanigawa and is excellent, with solid characterisation and a lightness of touch in the "everyday" scenes, which are the highlight for me. (This is in stark contrast to the TV series written by Mari Okada, whose screenplay is emotionally overwrought and becomes clumsily contradictory by its end. The "other world" battle sequences are the highlight of this version, having been handled at studio Sanzigen by Hiroyuki Imaishi (of Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill and Promare fame) with his typical OTT flair.)

The voice performance of the OVA is another of its strengths, with an outstanding main duo of Kana Hanazawa (Mayuri in Steins;Gate, Akane in Psycho-Pass) and Miyuki Sawashiro (Celty in Durarara!!, Logicoma in Ghost in the Shell: Arise(!)).

I first learned of Black★Rock Shooter from an excellent art book by Udon Entertainment called Pixiv Almanac. I bought the book within my first couple of years of really getting into anime and was pretty captivated by it. There were a number of pieces inside that were inspired by huke's creation, and an article at the back about the character's beginnings and its jump to animation. It encouraged me to watch the OVA online. (It had been given away as a cover-mount DVD with Hobby Japan, Megami Megazine and Animedia, and was streamed for free on its official website.)

I feel, in some small way, that Black★Rock Shooter holds a little bit of a special place inside me, so if even one person were to check out any aspect of it and enjoy it then I would consider this post a success.
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Pokémon Master
Well you made me curious about that one @Neil.T , I have the French blu-ray edition which also includes the OVA, so I might put this on my watch soon list. It’s not English friendly though, and AFAIK there isn‘t actually an English friendly release available for this.

Geriatric hedgehog

Magical Girl
A couple of romance animes I stumbled upon (therefore assuming they may qualify as hidden gems) and really enjoyed:

1. Tsukigakirei - a wonderfully understated drama that really captures the awkwardness and elation of first love (or infatuation as a literature teacher more accurately once put it to disbelieving younger self) and probably has the most sympathetic portrayal of the other members of a love rectangle

2. Teasing master takagi-san - charming & very sweet comedy around first love (or infatuation depending on how jaded you feel heh)

Girls with Guns

Dragon Knight
I think one of the most impactful anime for me of this past decade that really flew under the radar with me until I happened to stumble on it was Death Parade. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and it was such a good watch, It really left an impression. Another title that somewhat stayed in the shadows and snuck up on me that I totally enjoyed was ACCA 13.

I'm also a huge fan of mystery anime, and some of my favorites over the last 10 years that were not so mainstream were Psychic Detective Yakumo, Beautiful Bones, and Brynhildr. I'd add Gosick to that list, but I suppose that one is fairly well known, so maybe not really considered a Hidden Gem, but it is still awesome! One last mention, but slightly too old for this list, is Shigofumi - what an intriguing story that one was, although that came out in 2008.
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